[Reading Challenge] 2019 Reading Goals

So 2018 was a little disappointing for me and my reading goals.

I didn’t make my goodreads challenge. I originally set a goal of 50 books, but when October came around and I hadn’t even reached 20, I decided to lower it to 25. I finished on 23.

Throughout the year I had several reading slumps, and I also got a big promotion at work which took up a lot of my time towards the end of the year.

BUT THAT WILL NOT STOP ME.

This year I have set a goal of 25 from the offset. Achievable. Manageable. Realistic.

I want to read as many amazing books at possible. I’m not going to try and read something just because it’s hyped or pressure myself into reading proofs for reviews. Of course I’ll still do that, but I’m going to be more selective.

I’ll also be taking part in Beat The Backlist to try and knock off those book which have been sat on my shelves for longer than they probably should have done…

So fingers crossed this year I’ll read some incredible books, and reach that all important Goodreads goal!


What reading goals have you set for yourself this year?

See what I’m hoping to read this month in my January TBR.


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[TBR] January 2019

Happy New Year!

Wowza, another year gone… but with a brand new year starting, that means more amazing new releases, a fresh start to Reading Challenges and of course, resolutions we’ll probably never stick to!

And here’s something else I’ll probably never stick to… my January 2019 TBR.

I’ve chosen some (I hope) amazing books to kick start the year with and get me started towards the glory of actually completing my goodreads challenge this year…


Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

I started reading this on my commute to work this morning, and boy am I glad I decided to kick off the New Year with this! I’m only 50 ish pages in and it’s already looking to be amazing!

Normal People by Sally Rooney

I’ve also started reading this one already. I’m 80 pages in and throughly enjoying it so far.

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

I had hoped to get to this one before the end of 2018 but that just didn’t work out for me… so here it is at the top of my TBR for 2019. It sounds brilliant and I’ve heard great things – very much looking forward to getting started on this!

The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden

I swear, if I don’t read this book this month, someone needs to shoot me. I think this may be the 5th time this books has been on my TBR over the course of 2 years… THIS IS THE ONE.


What’s on your TBR this month?

[Book Haul] November 2018

I honestly cannot believe it’s December… another year gone! There are so many great releases in 2019 that I’m looking forward to, I will compile a list of my most anticipated before the month is out. But first, my November Haul!

I got some amazing books this month, a couple I bought and the rest are from publishers – thank you to Titan, Gollancz and Harper360YA for being amazing, always!

November Purchases:

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald – J.K. Rowling

Throne of Glass (Collectors Edition) – Sarah J. Maas

Girls of Paper and Fire (Fairyloot Edition) – Natasha Ngan

Publisher Haul:

The Dark Vault – V.E. Schwab

Archangel’s Prophecy – Nalini Singh

Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean

Pride – Ibi Zoboi

Skyward – Brandon Sanderson


Do you spot any favourites or books you want to read? Let me know below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Book Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

29749085Synopsis: Daughter of immortals.
D
longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.
A
just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.
T
will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.


Let me start off by saying…

THIS.

BOOK.

WAS.

AWESOME.

Like, seriously. I’m officially totally obsessed with Leigh Bardugo and need to read everything she ever writes/has written after having only previously read Six of Crows (review here). I’m not really the comic book, superhero loving type. I’ve seen a few movies and thought they were okay, I wouldn’t watch them again or go out of my way to find out about the latest releases, etc. So honestly, I don’t even know what persuaded me to pick this up in the first place, other than that it seemed like a good idea at the time.

But boy was it a good idea! It’s one of my favourite books I’ve read this year, and I definitely want to re-read it and secretly (not so secretly) hope that there will be a sequel!

This book had everything I could have wished for and so much more. Diana was fierce and compassionate as our main character, and I loved the diverse cast of supporting characters, especially Nim – she was my fave.

Funny, action-packed and brilliantly written, this book gave me all the feels. I couldn’t put it down and totally recommend it to everyone, superhero fan or not!

I hope there’s more to come.


View Wonder Woman: Warbringer on Goodreads

Book Review: The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

23592175Synopsis: Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy – a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree bears fruit only when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder – or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.


I have heard so many good things about this book and Hardinge as an author.

I don’t know if I was just reading this at the wrong time, but I just wasn’t all there for this book. Firstly, it took me AGES to get through. Like, 2 weeks… it’s barely 300 pages long…

Like I said, I don’t know if it was just because being on a boat for 6 weeks had completely mentally drained me, but I found the first half of the book painfully slow. It wasn’t until half way through (coincidentally, when I was settled back at home) that I became more engaged with the story and the characters.

I found the concept really intriguing, and actually loved the descriptions of Faith’s visions when under the influence of the Tree’s “truth fruit”; it was whimsical and magical whilst remaining dark and haunting. I also loved Faith’s bravery and determination to overthrow the societal views towards females – The increase of strong female characters in children’s literature over the past few years has been inspiring and long overdue!

Unfortunately, I really hated all of the other characters. I found Faith’s mother intolerable, and Faith’s father was so distant and uninvolved that for the first two thirds of the book, I really didn’t understand Faith’s devotion towards him and his memory.

I don’t feel like my review of this book can ever be 100% true to my feelings, just because I really don’t know where I sit with it, and whether my enjoyment of the book was in fact influenced by my severe need to be back on dry land! But overall, I still don’t like I would have fully enjoyed the book as I feel like the characters would have grated on me regardless of my location.

Ultimately, although it took me a while to get into it, I genuinely enjoyed it. A dark, mysterious tale with a strong female protagonist.


View The Lie Tree on Goodreads

Book Review: Salt to The Sea – Ruta Sepetys

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

28103790Synopsis: 

It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across East Prussia, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. Fans of The Book Thief or Helen Dunmore’s The Siege will be totally absorbed.

This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of Between Shades of Grey, brilliantly imagines their story.


I read this book about a sinking ship, whilst on a ship… whose wise idea was that?!

So anyone who knows me, knows that I love anything set during the second world war. I don’t know why, but there is just something about that time period that just grabs my attention.

I was sure that I was going to love this. Only, I didn’t love it. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, I just didn’t love it as much as I had expected. I have really high expectations for books set in this time period, after my favourite book, The Book Thief blew me away, and then All The Light We Cannot see followed suit.

I don’t particularly know why, but perhaps it was due to the fact that I didn’t feel connected to any of these characters for about half of the book. The story follows four main perspectives, all of which are keeping a dark secret. When I found out these secrets, I felt like for the most part, they weren’t big enough to have much significance, and so where I spent a lot of time focusing on these secrets, I lost a lot of the parts which would have made me grow fond of these characters.

The actual writing and telling of the story was beautiful. I felt like I could picture every moment, and still now, after a month since reading it, I can recall specific images in my mind. The turmoil and destruction, and sheer desperation of these people seeking to flee was depicted devastatingly well.

The ending was a bit cryptic in my opinion. I’m still not 100% sure on some of the details of how events following the disaster played out, or even who the letter at the end is written by. I feel like I would have to re-read it to grasp it.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I think it’s a beautifully told account of events well worthy of it’s Carnegie nomination.


View Salt To The Sea on Goodreads

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3) – Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

23766634Synopsis: 

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


I can’t even begin to tell you all how much this book destroyed me… What a finale!

This gave me all of the feels, and despite what anyone says, I think I will always love Maas’ writing. When I started reading the ACOTAR I had no idea that I would love it this much! Can everyone just give me all of the related merchandise so I can make a shrine please?

Of course, it had it’s flaws, but so does every book. It’s the relationships between the characters that keeps me turning and turning those pages. The developments and plot twists throughout had me hooked, and the war, although short, gave me the chills and had me bawling my eyes out!

The only* fault that I can pick with this (*that I remember), is that the final war was SO short. For an event that the entire series had been leading up to, and the book is titled for, it felt a tad bit rushed. It was over in a matter of about 50 pages, which was slightly disappointing for me; I felt like it could have been even more epic. But still, it grabbed me and I basically just devoured the entire thing. I did have to stop reading in a public place when I came dangerously close to ugly crying…

Here are some of my thoughts on the characters by the end of the series:

I HATE TAMLIN. And always will, even though he did try to redeem himself.

I LOVE RHYSAND. Can I marry him please? Okay, so him and Feyre are great together, so maybe I can force myself to be happy for them… *sighs*

Nesta, although I hated her to start with, has grown on me and I now love her and absolutely need to read more about her and what’s going to happen!

Again, as with ACOMAF, this is probably not suitable for young readers and should be pitched as New Adult, due to the amount of sex scenes (there are a LOT).

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I seriously cannot wait until May 2018 so I can read more, and hopefully go back to The Court of Dreams, where I belong.


View A Court of Wings and Ruin on Goodreads